@MemTigersTF_XC Men Place Second at the American Outdoor Track and Field Championship
May 4, 2014
TAMPA, Fla.-The University of Memphis men’s track and field team took second place overall (147 points) at the inaugural American Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championship, on Sunday. Houston (156.50 points) claimed the conference title, with UCONN (144 points) taking third.
“I am really impressed the way the men’s team competed over the last three days,” head track and field coach Kevin Robinson said. “These young men really stepped-up and competed like warriors today. We stayed composed, executed very well and took advantages of some opportunities. We may have come up a few points short of the win but the team battled every step of the way.”
The Tigers notched 18 points in the men’s pole vault, with Pauls Pujats taking gold at 5.48m (17’11.75”, 10 points) and Austin Crenshaw taking silver at 5.38m (17’7.75”, eight points). Pujats’ performance earned the junior Men’s Most Outstanding Field Performer honors at the meet.
Memphis scored a combined 18 points in the 800m with LaForrest Church taking gold at 1”51.53 earning 10 points in a dramatic final push towards the finish line. Fabian Fiege added eight more points in the event taking silver at 1:51.84. Both Pujats’ and Church’s performances now stand at American Athletic Conference records.
The points kept coming throughout the final day of competition in both field and track events. In the discus, Luke Vaughn found the podium taking silver at 52.09m (170’11”) for eight points. Jaleen White picked up three points in the triple jump with a sixth place finish of 15.10m (49’6.50”).
In the 1,500m run, Austin Cater took bronze with at time of 3:55.68 earning the Tigers six points. Fellow distance runner Julien Wolf talled five more points in the event taking fourth at 3:56.09.
Brandon Williams and Persinger added more points in the 400m hurdles, with Williams (52.48) finding the podium for silver at eight points and Persinger (54.02) placing sixth for three points. In the 100m dash, Joe Craig tacked on two more points with a seventh place finish of 11.09.
The Tigers entered the 4 x 400m relay, the final event of the day, trailing Houston by only 5.5 points. The Memphis team of LaQuintin Garner, Luis Hanssler, Fiege and Church took fourth in the event in a time of 3:12.92 for five points, but Houston took first at 3:08.84 for 10 points to hold the Memphis charge on the scoreboard at bay.
On Saturday, Hanssler and Turre Hollo scored a combined 16 points for the men’s team taking gold and bronze respectively in the decathlon. Hanssler took the championship with a new-program record score of 7,471 points.
Hanssler completed the final five events placing second in the 110m hurdles (15.43), third in the discus (36.45m, 119’7”), third in the pole vault (4.40m, 14’5.25”), fourth in the javelin (48.96m, 160’7”) and second in the 1,500m (4:28.99). On day one of the event (Friday), Hanssler took first in the 100m (10.81), first in the long jump (7.24m, 23’9”), second in the shot put (12.96m, 42’6.25”), tied for first in the high jump (1.89m, 6’2.25”) and first in the 400m (49.45).
Hollo took bronze in the decathlon with a final score of 6,866 points. In the final five events, Hollo took third in the 110m hurdles (15.62), second in the discus (40.35m, 132’4”), first in the pole vault (4.60m, 15’1”), second in the javelin (52.42m, 172’), and seventh in the 1,500m (4:58.38). On day one, Hollo took sixth in the 100m (11.60), seventh in the long jump (6.44m, 21’1.5”), fourth in the shot put (12.61m, 41’4.5”), tied for first in the high jump (1.89m, 6’2.25”), and seventh in the 400m (53.24).
In the shot put, Yannik Schaly took gold with a throw of 18.39m (60’4”) scoring 10 team points. Vaughn found the podium with a bronze medal performance of 17.43m (57’2.25”) scoring six team points, with Wade Wells (16.47m, 54’0.5”, 2 points) and Tom Willcox (16.21m, 53’.2.25”, one point) for a combining for three team points.
Georgio Lynwood took gold in the high jump leaping, 2.10m (6’10.75”) earning the men another 10 team points. Lynwood, Schaly and Hanssler’s performances all established an American Athletic Conference record.
The Tigers scored more team points in the javelin and long jump events. Thomas Poole took fourth in the javelin with a mark of 61.96m (203’3”) for five points. Crenshaw tallied two more points in the javelin placing seventh at 57.67m (189’2”). In the long jump, White placed fifth at 7.06m (23’2”) for four team points.
On Friday, the men scored three overall team points in the hammer throw. Matt Sipe (53.08m, 174’2”) notched a seventh place finish for two points, while Tom Willcox (52.81m, 173’3”) scored one point with an eighth place finish.
The Tigers return to action on May 16-17 in their final outdoor meet of the season at the Georgia Tech Invitational. For more information on the University of Memphis track and field program and all Tigers athletics, please visit GoTigersGo.com.